It is when we have a positive attitude and we are putting in a positive effort that we start to see miracles.

Well a lot has happened this week. The start of the week was pretty cool. We got to meet with the woman that we found and she was really great! We sat down and we started talking and it lead us sharing the whole Plan of Salvation and talking about how she can find out if it is true or not. We were able to answer her questions and I believe that she enjoyed it. We ran out of time but her last question was really about the need of the Book of Mormon. I’m not surprised by this question any more, but to be honest there are times I wonder how many people actually question and try to search for answers. Not very many. I love the quote from Preach My Gospel where a convert to the church had said that “He discovered the path he didn’t even know he was looking for!” There are so many people that searching for the truth but know not where to find it. I finally understand that scripture. So we had a wonderful lesson and I’m looking forward to teaching her again. Following this the fun starts. Wednesday at 5 in the morning rolls around we get up and head out the door for our small little adventure down to Aberdeen and Dundee. We get to Thurso about 8am and we pick up the Thurso Elders and we get driving down to Aberdeen. It was a long car ride. It takes a while because the roads here just toss and turn all the time. So what would maybe take an hour or two trip in the U.S. ends up being 4-6 hour drive in Scotland. Well we get to Aberdeen in the later afternoon so Elder Herr and I go out on the streets to go and find. We talked to a lot of interesting people that is for sure. There was this massive costume party going on in the city. Not very many people have high standards like us so there was a lot of awkward costumes. But it was all really fun. I enjoyed the night that we went out talking to the few people that we did. The following day I went out on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Divianis my previous District Leader. That was a lot of fun. We gave out a few copies of the Book of Mormon, we had a funny first lesson with a woman from Hungry. She has been pretty home sick so running into the missionaries was an answer to her prayer. We sat down and she would start to tell us her beliefs and then say we believed in something different, but nope she actually had the same beliefs as us they just weren’t so organized. So it was pretty hilarious to watch her face as we agreed with a lot of the things she was saying. Even more so when we showed her the scriptures from the Book of Mormon that went along with what we were talking about. We had a great day on the exchange.

So the following day Friday was the big conference. We woke up at 5 again to get down to Dundee to make sure that everyone was there. The car ride down was pretty funny. We had these two sisters and this one other Elder in the car with us and they were just funny. Well we got to the Dundee stake building and we get into the chapel. President Donaldson and everyone else was then instructing us on making sure we were all ready for the apostle. So they had us all go in to the gym area and get all set up for a photo with Elder Renlund. It was pretty crazy. But we got everyone in and we had to wait a long time for Elder Renlund. But when he finally came it was silent. He walked right up to everyone and said “I’ve arranged for this photo to be photo shopped to make me look skinnier and younger.” He is a pretty funny guy. So we all get back into the chapel and Sister Donaldson speaks to us first about Humility followed by President Donaldson who spoke about rejection. Then Sister Renlund did a discussion with us about the talks that we were supposed to read for the conference. Then Followed Elder Dale G. Renlund a message to deliver to us. The First to thank us from the Lord and the Church for our Service. Second that our Mission President has been called of God by prophecy and revelation. Third that we have been called of God by prophecy and revelation. He spoke about a lot and where our focus should be. He then drew out this grid about Attitude and Effort. The top right is the miracle quadrant. It is when we have a positive attitude and we are putting in positive effort that we start to see miracles. I want to be in that place. So there are some simple things that we can do and help our members do as well. After Elder Renlund bore a powerful and inspiring testimony of the Gospel and the Prophet Thomas S. Monson we had lunch. Following lunch we learned some more things from our leaders and what we can do to help with our goals for the mission. One thing that I like was teaching members to do missionary work over Facebook. One thing that we can do is that when we learn something inspiring we should share it! So scroll through that Facebook friends list till a name stands out and reach out to them! Tell them that you were thinking of them when you heard this message! That’s a simple way to do missionary work. Another one is to have a group chat with a members and the investigators of missionaries. When you have a few members in a group chat and maybe one or two other none members not only does it help them find friends but it allows you to do missionary work by answering their questions. So we had a very uplifting conference. We then had the long drive all the way back home. Wasn’t too bad. But the boat was pretty bad. The waves were tossing the ferry just back and forth. We were in the lounge and there was the Orkney Football team and they were all drinking. When all the sudden the boat just leans to one side and we watched them all go sliding across the room. Just imagine the movie Wall-E when all the people slide on the ship that is exactly what happened on this boat.

Well it’s great to hear about the dancing and I look forward to seeing photos from Moab it should be a fun time! We are hoping for miracles here in Orkney! Then in fact Elder Herr are doing a FHE night with one of the members and this next one we plan on doing a family history activity. We are going to be making family trees! Going to be a lot of fun. So it’s going to go great with Elder Nelsons talk you sent. Tomorrow is Halloween so I’ll get some pictures from that, I hope to see pictures from everyone back home as well!

It’s the small reminders that help us to keep going and remember who we are and what we are supposed to do.

Well tell Dad Happy Birthday for me! I sent him something in the mail don’t know when it’ll show up.

Yeah I’m still in Orkney and I’ll be here for a few more weeks!

Well this past week we had a pretty cool little miracle l happen. The other day Elder Herr and I for our companion study were trying to find different ways that we could find people or what could we change so that we can be more effective. So we started off with former Investigators and we went to the area book. Going through the area book we have teaching records of past investigators and what they’ve been taught so the missionaries can just keep track of what lessons to do. Well we found this one woman and she sounded like she was really interested but she just seemed to kind of disappear. Probably because she did get forgotten about when missionaries move around. So this was really great but there was no contact details for her! No way could we find her! So we continued going through the area book and there really wasn’t much. So we came up with a few other ideas of what to do, beause winter is coming and in winter time there are not many people around and the people do change with the seasons. So we go out for the rest of day to go and finding along the streets and normally we just kind of walk around the high street, but you do get tired of it. So we are like alright let’s go and see our friend Grahme and we walk over to his house, which we walk past the harbor. We get up to his home and he has friends over so not really a good time to see him. So we go walking about and we are walking next to the harbor, we decided to take a 5 min break maybe skip a rock or two and just kind of ponder what we are going to do. So we go down there and we are skipping rocks and then just kind of talking about the missionary work. Well this woman is walking by at that same moment, so I stop her and we get talking. She told us that she met with the missionaries before and well low and behold here is the former investigator that we didn’t have any contact info for. She was interested in meeting up again so we should be actually seeing her later today. Nice little miracle.

So the Ah-a moment is simple most of the time we forget which part is ours and which part is Gods in the work of salvation. Sometimes I think about how I have to do all these hard things, but I forget I just need to be outside and just talk to people and God will prepare the way for those who are ready. It goes with 1 Nephi 17: 13 “And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led”. It’s the small reminders that help us to keep going and remember who we are and what we are supposed to do. All that is asked of us is to keep the commandments and the way will be prepared. The greatest problems in life can be overcome and the small problems can have a solution, we just need to trust in the commandments. Elder Bednar gives a great example when he talks about faith in his video being an Agent to Act. We learn the lessons in mortality that prepares us for Eternity. This times we are to take a step forward into the darkness. When we do this we expect the light to move with us but it’s not like this at all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we are to first act then we receive. We must step into the darkness and then the light will move. With my experience so far as a missionary and this small moments of little miracles it’s when I’ve stepped forward not knowing where I was going that the light then followed and showed me a path to follow. These are simple life lessons that we all learn or we assume that we’ve learned. But it’s not till they actually happen that we see the lesson that applies into our own lives. So I’m grateful for these experiences. I am grateful for the many, many sacrifices that others have done that have given me the chance to obtain these many blessings.

So I hope dad has a great birthday and that he enjoys being one year older and maybe a bit wiser!

This should be a fun week, we’ll be down in Aberdeen for exchanges with the zone leaders and then the next day we’ll be at the mission conference with Elder Renlund and I’m really excited for that to hear his council to all the missionaries and we can do better to find those that are ready for the Gospel!

As we turn back to Christ and continue to press forward with faith in Christ we can grow our testimony upon his bedrock of foundation.

The Hurricane is coming to Orkney! No worries we got a call from Sister Donaldson yesterday about the storm. We’ll be fine I’m not really worried about it, but it should be fun! Just need to stay away from the cliffs!

But this is a great teaching chance! Elder Anderson gave a wonderful talk about Spiritual Whirlwinds and how we need to build our foundation upon Christ. The Mormon message which I attached is what I’m talking about (see video below). The Tree grows stronger in the wind and prepares itself by growing roots fast and deeper into the soil and the cells in the branches grow fast to become stronger to with stand the forces of the wind. I love how Elder Anderson speaks that sometimes without noticing we are moved from our foundation. We don’t always notice, but it happens. The way back is repentance. As we turn back to Christ and continue to press forward with faith in Christ we can grow our testimony upon his bedrock of foundation. We must become deeply rooted within his commandments so that when we stand we are not moved, because our branches have become stronger. But we need both strong roots and strong branches. As we learn from Jacob about the lord of the vineyard (Jacob 5), Even though this is a metaphor for the world and the restoration, the olive tree itself can teach us about what it means to have strong roots and strong branches. When the roots grow strong but the branches do not, the fruit is bitter and not good because the branches will break and not withstand the winds. The same is when the roots are not deeply rooted the tree can easily be up-rooted. So how the lord so diligently worked on his Olive Tree, so must we work on ours and not give up. I also like how the Lord of the Vine yard is about ready to give up but the servant who loves his master encourages him to go one last time to work and he follows the counsel of the servant to leading him to save his Olive Tree. Even though we are the masters of our own vineyard we may from time to time need the encouraging words of others to up lift and inspire us to keep working.
So this past week has been full of challenges and pressing forward with faith in Christ.

We had a great District meeting to start the week and get us ready on finding those new people that are searching for something. We had a lot of appointments set for the week and many did fall through, but we had one that sort of held! So Elder Herr and I chapped into this wonderful mother named Stephanie. We spoke to her at the door, she told us that she had already spoken to us on the street. Well I’m not taking that answer as not to come back. So “We share a message how families can be together forever!” We got invited back. Went back the next day her small daughter was poking her head out the window, but sadly no one was answering. We couldn’t keep waiting so off we went again to get back to chapping. We chapped into a few other people that invited us back so feeling alright. Then the next day we go around and those people didn’t answer so walking about a little discouraged, the thought came to mind to try by Stephanie. So we did and we came to the door and knocked. Waited, Door opens! And “Come in”! So we sit down with Stephanie and she had her children with her, funny kids. We were then able to say the wonderful news of the Restoration and how that because of this Restoration her family can be together forever. I think I love it most being able to share and testify of this wonder message to the world. Even though there was a lot of challenges this week. I always find the simple times when you find just one person that has a willing heart to hear the message it uplifts your spirit more than anything. So we’ve been all over the place this week. Just out chapping and talking to people on the street. It’s been pretty crazy. But this next week I’m excited because we are going to do a bit more member teaching, we are going to teach the members how to be missionaries, and share the Book of Mormon with others! Because it’s always the last person you expected to accept the Restored Gospel… Always happens.
Then yes Elder Renlund will be speaking to us at our mission conference next week! I’m really excited we have to prepare ourselves to learn as well so it’s going to really great.

I’m doing great! Just keep on going!

I love the Book of Mormon and what it teaches

Well what a week. We got the T-shirts and we’ll be getting the photos today at some point.
Well to let you guys know about this week, so Monday was a pretty dull day. We mostly spent the day cleaning and what not and then the rest of the week went by pretty slow. Normaly we would have District meeting on Tuesday but because people in our district were moving around we didn’t have a meeting, but we will tomorrow. So that should be a lot of fun. I always enjoy the District meetings because it’s usually a big help to get motivated for the week. So really the only highlight is we’ve been out chapping a lot and really doing a bit more to get to talk to more people. Because it’s starting to get colder and darker, there is less people out on the streets so we’ve been out chapping. We have been having a lot more success, we just have to see if all the people will hold their appointments. Got some interesting people that we’ll be meeting up with. But a lot of families which will be awesome! I haven’t had the chance to really sit down with a family and teach them but we are still looking. Well later on in the week we did get invited back to a home. We went back and they let us in. So we sit down with this Man and his wife. The man is a religious teacher here at the high school. So we’re like alright that’s pretty cool. His wife is a physical therapist and we get chatting, they had the missionaries around like years ago and they were taught a bit from the missionaries. So they’ll have us around so we are going back to have dinner with them tonight. It should be an interesting time. So that was some new people that we found and then again the rest of the time has been going around chapping doors and we have quite a lot of people that have invited us back for next week. So we’ll see what happens! I’m rather excited because it should be a great week.
Another great thing was these past few weeks Elder Herr and I decided to sit down and read through the whole Book of Mormon and really go through it for our studies and focus on the uplifting message that it brings. This past week we finished that goal and it was really great because even though we spent just about an hour or two in the book every day we still finished it in about 2-3 weeks. I would have to say reading through the Book of Mormon each time is so uplifting and inspiring.
I loved the talks that were given this past general conference that were about the Book of Mormon and about the council that President Thomas S. Monson gave about reading the Book of Mormon every day. It’s interesting as a missionary because all you really want people to do is to read this book, just to read it. Haven’t asked them to change their life or to leave everything be hide but just to exercise just a bit of faith and read the book and ask God if it’s true. I love the Book of Mormon and what it teaches. So it hasn’t been the most exciting week but that’ll change this next week. We are going to have a great week and I plan on seeing miracles.
Well Alex is taller than me so I don’t think there isn’t anything else you can do. Speak to you next week!

He is there and is helping, but you have to look for him.

Well it sounds like a fun filled week. I would have to say not much has really happened here. I haven’t had a chance to watch all of conference, because of the time difference and really nowhere to go to watch it. I’ve only been able to watch the Saturday Morning part, so I got a lot of catching up to do!
But I have loved the talks that where given then. Over this past week building up to moves call it always gets a bit harder than any other week because we never know what will happen. But to let you know I’ll be in Orkney for another 6 weeks with Elder Herr. So it should be a fun time.

It has been a bit of a rough week with not much happening. Winter is really starting to come in and so the weather in Orkney is always changing now. It gets really, really, cold at night here and then it just dumps rain in the morning and most of the time by the afternoon it’s sunny before it’s gets windy and rainy in the evening time. Just can’t keep up with this weather! It’s just been all over the place! So we are about to give up on the high street of Orkney because now everyone is hiding in their homes from the weather. Also all the cruise ships have stopped till next year. So no more tourist.

So with the weather and all that going on it’s been an interesting week.
To really highlight the week that would be moving a shed. I didn’t take any photos but we went around to the Park’s this past week because they had bought a new shed and we were helping them move it. They wanted the shed in the back garden. So Elder Herr and I got to work on leveling out the ground to place the shed on because they had a really hilly garden. Oh I wish the ground was this soft back home and I was digging those holes for those trees in our back garden. So we got it cleared out and got all the earth moved. Then came the shed part. They had this same fence that was in the way so we had two ways of doing this, we either cut down the fence or put it back or we lift the shed over the fence. And this shed was not a light shed, it was solid wood and pretty heavy. But we went for lifting the shed! So we gathered some neighbors and we got to work. That was so heavy and we could not get the shed up. So after spinning it around we lifted one side of the shed up onto the fence and took a break. Then we all got around and lifted again to get it to balance the shed on the fence and that was a sturdy fence. Because if not, the shed would have smashed that fence. Then we slid the shed over the fence and braced for the impact of when it left the fence and got it to place where we needed it. Oh that was a lot. But I did learn the lesson to never give up even if the problem seems bigger than you can handle. So after this shed moving we went back around to the flat and got cleaned up before heading over to Donna’s for some dinner and FHE! Which was really fun. So Elder Herr and I were trying to think of something we could do that would be really fun. The Armor of God! So we watched the Armor of God from the Bible Videos and read Eph chapter 6 I believe. Then early we went and got a bunch of newspaper and we made Armor for James! It was a blast and we all really enjoyed it and had a good laugh as well. Even though it was just paper the time was spent laughing and having a great time. It really was what family home evening was about and that was bringing a family closer together.

There are lot of things that are happening in the world right now that are causing a lot of questions to be asked and one of them that I hear most often is “Where is God in all this?”. It’s a simple answer but one that not a lot people like and that is He is there and is helping, but you have to look for him. Because he allows men to have choices, which men make the wrong choices a lot of the time, but if we listen hard enough we can find where God is. I often like to refer back to 3 Nephi 11:3 “ And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.”

Often we hear something and do not understand it. The wonderful message that was shared from you and how long it took you to hear a simple answer is a message to never be forgotten. During this time of family home evening I saw where God was and He was in the love of this small family and the love they have for each other. Will take us time and time again to hear sweet whisperings of the Holy Ghost, and when that happens we can not forget it. The feelings and impressions that are left from hearing the word of God are needed to uplift and inspire us to keep going. We need them to become a part of who we are. None of this makes a difference unless it actually gets into us. With this in mind the rest of the week was really good. We went back over to the Parks and did a fun little fireside about the Temples. We talked a lot and we had a great time learning more about the temples and what a blessing they are. I miss the temple, it is a place where all the stress in the world goes away. And just for a few moments that we have in there we are in Heaven.
Well I look forward to hearing the rest of conference and learning more and feeling more inspired. During this time I would also like to express how much Elder Robert D. Hales will be missed.
Well it should be a fun week this time around. We’ll be doing our best to stay busy with all this rain and weird weather.
But I’ll keep going because people need this gospel. Just how President Dieter F. Uchtdorf put it, “It will make your life Better and God will use you to make other people’s lives Better.”

Had an investigator from Inverness send me these.